Submitted February 27, 2018
Certified by the Court of Appeals for Summit County, No.
E. Ferguson, for appellant.
1} This case was accepted as a certified conflict
between judgments of the Ninth District and Fifth District
Courts of Appeals. The Ninth District certified the issue in
conflict as follows:
"Whether the post-release control notification of R.C.
2929.19(B)(2)(e) must include notification of the penalty
provisions in R.C. 2929.141(A)(1)-(2), specifically, whether
a trial court must inform an offender at the time of
sentencing that the commission of a felony during a period of
post-release control permits a trial court to impose a new
prison term for the violation to be served consecutively with
any prison term for the new felony."
150 Ohio St.3d 1441, 2017-Ohio-7843, 82 N.E.3d 1175, quoting
the court of appeals' journal entry.
2} Applying the plain language of R.C.
2929.19(B)(2)(e), we hold that the statute does not require
that a trial court notify an offender at his initial
sentencing hearing of the penalty provisions contained in
R.C. 2929.141(A)(1) and (2) (provisions that apply only when
an offender is convicted of committing a new felony while
serving a period of postrelease control).
Facts and Procedural History
3} In March 2015, appellant, Bruce Gordon, was
indicted on two counts of rape in violation of R.C.
2907.02(A)(1)(b) (victims less than 13 years of age), with a
factual allegation that Gordon purposely compelled the
victims to submit by force or threat of force. Gordon was
also charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition in
violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(4) (victims less than 13 years
of age). A jury found him guilty on all counts.
4} At sentencing, the trial court imposed an
aggregate sentence of 55 years to life in prison.
5} The trial court imposed the mandatory term of
postrelease control at the sentencing hearing and also
provided Gordon with notification of his postrelease-control
term in the sentencing entry. The entry also advised Gordon
that if he were convicted of a "new felony offense while
on post-release control, the sentencing court [could] impose
a prison term for the new felony offense as well as an
additional consecutive prison term for the post-release
control violation of twelve months or whatever time remains
on [his] post-release control period, whichever is
6} Gordon timely appealed his conviction and
sentence to the Ninth District Court of Appeals. On appeal,
he raised seven assignments of error related to his trial and
sentence. In his fourth assignment of error, Gordon argued
that "[t]he trial court committed reversible and plain
error when it sentenced [him] without properly giving him all
the required notifications as required by R.C. 2929.19(B)(4)
and concerning post-release control." The Ninth District
overruled six of Gordon's seven assignments of error,
including his above-quoted fourth assignment of error. The
Ninth District did remand the case to the trial court after
determining that the trial court had made insufficient
findings at the sentencing hearing related to the imposition
of consecutive sentences. The Ninth District also granted
Gordon's motion to certify a conflict with the Fifth
District's judgment in State v. Johnson, 5th
Dist. Muskingum No. CT2016-0035, 2016-Ohio-7931. We
recognized the conflict. 150 Ohio St.3d 1441, 2017-Ohio-7843,
82 N.E.3d 1175.